What to drink this week

Sweet wines

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

Sweet wines aren’t es­pe­cially fash­ion­able (Sauternes has had some won­der­ful years in 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2016, but you hear less about the great sweet whites of Bordeaux than the red crus classés) and, as a re­sult, they are, quite frankly, un­der­priced. New Year is surely the time to buck this trend; if you’re open­ing some rather good Port on the day it­self, there are other oc­ca­sions dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son on which var­i­ous fes­tive pud­dings need to be ac­com­pa­nied by some­thing equally sweet, but not quite so hero­ically pow­er­ful.

Make it your New Year’s res­o­lu­tion to em­brace these sweet treats, en­cour­ages Harry Eyres

Why you should be drink­ing them

‘Sweet’ is a dull and in­ad­e­quate word to de­scribe the won­der­ful va­ri­ety of pud­ding wines. These are made from all kinds of dif­fer­ent grapes, in some­times bizarre ways, in coun­tries all around the world.

What to drink

Sauternes is the most fa­mous of sweet whites and de­servedly so: the sheer sen­su­ous op­u­lence of the best wines takes some beat­ing. Berry Bros & Rudd Sauternes 2012 by Château Doisy-vé­drines (be­low, £12.75 per half-bot­tle; www. bbr.com) has great botry­tised rich­ness on the nose and palate—su­per stuff from a top prop­erty. Worlds apart in grape (Chenin as op­posed to Sauvi­gnon/sémil­lon), method (dry­ing on mats, not botry­tis) and coun­try is Mullineux Straw Wine from Swart­land, South Africa (£27.95 per half-bot­tle; www.bbr.com). This is amaz­ingly com­plex, long and re­fresh­ing as well as in­tensely sweet. Fi­nally, for a real rar­ity, try Kyper­ounda, Com­man­daria from Cyprus (£17.95 per 50cl; www.bbr. com): it tastes a lit­tle bit like sweet oloroso sherry, but with more fruit. De­li­cious.

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